A few details behind the Fairview – University of Minnesota agreement

University of Minnesota regents on Friday will discuss a 5-year, multimillion-dollar plan that lets the U  and Fairview Health Services jointly manage the services they perform together.

The agreement, a year and a half in the making, would affect the University of Minnesota Physicians clinics, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Amplatz Children’s Hospital and planned ambulatory care center. It would also affect services the U provides at Fairview sites, such as cardiovascular, cancer, and natal intensive care. It would also affect many services at Fairview’s Maple Grove Medical Center.

U officials say the agreement is designed to integrate research, education and patient care so that patients are served better and the operation is run more efficiently.

It also means Fairview would invest millions of dollars more into the U’s medical school.

Under the plan, which would be renewable after five years, the U and Fairview would form a new management board to oversee joint services. It would have a dozen directors – half appointed by the U and University of Minnesota Physicians, and half by Fairview. One of those would be the dean of the U’s medical school, who would chair the board. Another would be the CEO of Fairview. The CEO of University of Minnesota Physicians and the president of the U’s medical center would be nonvoting members.

Fairview would invest $7 million a year into academic programs at the medical school for the first two years, $8 million a year for the next two years, and $10 million a year for the six years after that. That’s up from $5 million this past year. And that amount could increase if the partnership exceeded income goals.

U officials stress that it’s not a merger. Although the partnership would have its own budget, each institution would keep its own balance sheet and assets.

They have said it’s about efficiency and smoothing out the bumps that patients experience during care.

Bobbie Daniels, CEO of the University of Minnesota Physicians, has said a number of services such as transplants require the patient to use both Fairview and university servies. The U handles certain parts of medical care, and Fairview others.

And medical school dean Aaron Friedman has said he hopes such tighter integration can become a model for medical students.

Prof. Daniel Zismer of the U has also said the two organizations could save money through efficiency — and reinvest the savings in research and facilities.

On Friday, regents are expected to give President Eric Kaler the authority to sign the agreement.